Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines

Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby ( Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.

Monday, December 28, 2009

#47 Searching for Dawn

What are you searching for in the coming year?

We were at a local golf course in Cabuyao, Laguna searching for a sunrise. Unlike wilder landscapes, golf courses present uniquely different challenges: manicured lawns, early-bird golfers, and water sprinklers that suddenly come alive. It didn't help that thick clouds hovered on the eastern horizon, precisely where we wished clouds never wandered. So much for that glorious sunrise photograph in our minds...

What is a twilight photographer to do? He best work hard, pray that he be lucky because other compositions abound. This is one of my favorite dawn shots. It shows a fellow photographer in the same boat, struggling with the little the dawn had to offer. Yet we all kept shooting, experimenting, and wondering, knowing that amidst adversity can be found the seeds of human triumph. Or luck.

And so too is life: a standard playbook we all think we know, one that is filled with surprises and opportunities. As we approach a brand new year, may we continue to work hard, to keep the faith, and to persevere no matter the adversity. Who knows, we may just get lucky!

Have an exciting new year ahead! Enjoy.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

#46 Dawn at the Terraces

There are a handful of places I often dream waking up in.

We were at the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, having taken the overnight bus from Manila.  Traveling as the natives do, with live chicken in tow, we thought it was a necessary rite of passage to help sweeten our arrival. (Not! Them seats don't recline much. )

When we finally got off the bus, the sun had already begun to bathe the hills with its golden rays, interrupted only by patches of fast-moving fog over the Ifugao landscape. It was July, the once-a-year harvest event at the terraces. The fields were just bursting with rice sheathed in gold. In the days that followed, there would be more than just rice in the fields, as everyone and their uncle trooped to the hills to join the frenzy. Between the golden fields and the hymns of harvest, we couldn't have selected a better time to be there. 

Why not make it your dream too? Be a tourist in your own country today! Enjoy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

#45 Getting Closer

I've often been asked, how did you get that shot?

It was July, the start of the planting season for rice, in the municipality of Iguig in Cagayan.  Parked by the side of the road, we had our eyes on some brightly colored umbrellas further off. The fields around us had been fallowed and filled with water. As the women harvested rice seedlings from nursery plots, the men hauled them away to plant. It was "bayanihan" at work, a merry sight if you've seen one.

But sometimes, getting close enough to take a shot meant navigating narrow dikes with expensive gear in hand. And splatter mud all over our shoes? As this photograph showed, those who got close enough took home defining images. But those of us who took off their shoes and socks got shots none of us brought home. Truly, sometimes you just have to get closer. 

Would you have taken your socks off? Enjoy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

#44 Twilight in Blue

Twilight, an eerie story of vampires and teen love... is also the title of this week's postcard... featuring an eerie blue morning by the sea...

On the island of Dos Palmas in Honda Bay, off the coast of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, we were greeted by a rare blue dawn. Experienced dawn stalkers know sunrise is usually preceded by a pitch-black sky.  And if there are any clouds overhead, they herald the king's arrival by flashing pink or crimson, before turning orange or red. Finally, all color usually disappears momentarily before a brilliant flash of light signals it's all over.

But this morning was different. It was cloudy all the way to the horizon. The sun eventually rose behind the clouds and the sky did brighten up, but without the usual sequence of colors we came to expect. Looking around us, in all directions, it was just an eery featureless blue. Well let's take a shot oh it's blue! Duh! Thanks a lot.

Still, twilight photographers understand there are a finite number of dawn's they can witness.  Every opportunity must count. Looking around we saw this grass hut in the middle of a long wharf, and with the reflection from its lone light, it seemed to be waving at us saying... hey how about me... how about me? Couple that with the pungent smell of the ocean at low tide, and the near complete silence as is common at twilight... hey... that could work right?. Who said dawn shots need to be a fire-y orange anyway? (Yes, even twilight photographers can sour grape!) Enjoy.

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